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Posts Tagged ‘Gluten-free’

We loved these little breakfast tacos so much we made them a few days in a row; and the mini yellow corn tortillas from Picado work perfectly. Jono bravely picked each taco up with a bit of spillage, Jules sensibly used a knife and fork.

Breakfast tacos with bacon, eggs & avocado – serves 2

  • 4 rashers smoked back bacon
  • 3 tsp butter
  • 6 medium eggs
  • 8 mini corn tortillas (use less if you’re using bigger ones)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • a bunch of coriander, chopped
  • Sriracha sauce, to serve

Grill or barbeuce the bacon until cooked and crispy, then snip with scissors into small pieces.

Melt the butter in a saucepan then softly scramble the eggs, take them off the heat when still slightly liquid so they don’t overcook. Stir in the crispy bacon.

Meanwhile, warm the tortillas in a dry frying pan and lay onto two warm plate.

Spoon the bacon and eggs over the tacos, then top with avocado, coriander and a drizzle of Sriracha sauce.

(Original recipe from The BodyCoach App)

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Try this simple lunch with some crusty bread.

Wine Suggestion: A good, salty Pazo de Señoráns Albariño which plays a delightful dance of balancing a lightness and elegance with surprising depth, concentration and complexity.

Hot-smoked salmon salad with chive buttermilk dressing – serves 2

  • 2 Little Gem lettuces, cut into chunky pieces
  • 50g sugar snap peas, halved
  • 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 150g hot-smoked salmon
  • crusty bread, to serve

FOR THE DRESSING

  • 100ml buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • a pinch of caster sugar
  • a bunch of chives, finely chopped

Put the buttermilk, white wine vinegar and caster sugar into a small jug, season with salt and pepper and whisk together. Add the chives.

Put the lettuce, sugar snap peas, red onion and capers into a large bowl and toss together gently. Add half the dressing and toss again. Flake over the hot-smoked salmon and gently toss again, then drizzle over the remaining dressing and serve.

(Original recipe in Olive Magazine, April 2020.)

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We recently bought Ammu by Asma Khan, a book full of Indian home-cooking recipes interlaced with lovely stories about Asma’s family life. Today was its first outing and we cooked these kebabs on the barbecue because the sun was shining, and our friend Michael keeps gifting us huge jars of pickled onions that he got for a bargain price in M&S (true). Asma recommends serving with a black-eyed bean salad called Lobia – and we agree.

Wine Suggestion: Find an easy, juicy barbecue red that isn’t too heavy and you’ll be happy here.

Murgh Seekh Kabab – serves 6

  • 900g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 5cm piece of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 300g well-drained pickled onions or shallots
  • 6 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • juice of 2 lemons
  • ¾ tsp sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3cm piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp chilli powder

Ideally you should marinade the chicken and leave in the fridge for about 4 hours. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together, then add the chicken and toss to coat, then cover and put into the fridge.

Get your barbecue going, we prefer charcoal but whatever you’ve got will do.

Thread the chicken pieces, thinly sliced ginger and pickled onions onto metal kebab sticks (you can use the wooden ones but you need to soak them in cold water for about 20 minutes first to stop them burning). Grill the kebabs for about 5 minutes on each side, basting with the ghee or vegetable oil.

(Original recipe from Ammu by Asma Khan, Ebury Press, 2022.)

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This is an Indian side dish and a great salad that we plan to serve with many Indian meals. This time we had it with Murgh Seekh Kababs cooked on the barbecue. Asma prefers dried beans (and we’re sure she is right) but we cheated this time and used a tin of black-eyed beans instead.

Lobia – serves 4

  • 200g dried black-eyed beans (we used a 400g tin)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • ½ a small red onion, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 red tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

If using dried beans you need to soak them in cold water overnight.

The next day, drain the beans and put into a large pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for about an hour, or until soft. Drain and leave to cool.

If you are using a tin of beans, you can skip all of the above and just drain and rinse them in cold water.

Put the beans into a bowl, add the garlic, onion, chilli and tomato and mix together gently. Whisk the olive oil, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper together, pour into the bowl with the beans and mix together.

(Original recipe from Ammu by Asma Khan, Ebury Press, 2022).

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This is so simple but looks impressive and is perfect for a Friday night when you want a weekend dish but don’t have lots of time. You will need some crusty bread to mop up the delicious juices. Serve with buttered orzo or new potatoes.

Wine Suggestion: From the Burrier family of the superb Château de Beauregard in Pouilly-Fuissé is Domaine de la Rochette Mâcon-Bussières an excellent example of what this southern Burgundian region can do so well. Lovely ripe stonefruit and apple flavours under-pinned with a savoury minerality and fresh, layered mouthfeel which allows the cod to shine, counter-balances the Parma’s meaty saltiness and sings along with the olives and tomatoes.

Cod with cherry tomatoes and green olives – serves 6

  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 750g cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 even sized pieces of cod loin, about 125g each
  • 6 slices of Parma ham
  • 18 nocellara green olives
  • a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped (to serve)
  • crusty bread

Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.

Put the onions and tomatoes into a shallow baking tray. Season with salt and pepper and add the olive oil, toss together and put into the oven for 15 minutes.

Season the cod then wrap each piece in a slice of Parma ham. Add the olives to the baking tray with the tomatoes, then gently set the cod pieces on top. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked and the ham is crispy. Scatter with the chopped parsley and serve.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, April 2016.)

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This is a great dish for using up bits of leftover veg and antipasti things. Keep the base of onions, garlic, rice and veg stock but after that you can use up whatever you’ve got – we’ve given what we used below as an example.

Wine Suggestion: This Spanish inspired dish encouraged us to have a glass of a Spanish Garnacha Blanca, the Edetària via Terra Blanca which we find unprepossessing and charming, plus with the right textures and flavours to match this paella. We dare say their equivalent via Terra Tinto (Garnacha Negra) would also be a good match too if you fancied a glass of red instead.

Baked veggie paella – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • half a red pepper, sliced
  • half a yellow pepper, sliced
  • half a green pepper, sliced
  • 1 courgette, halved lengthways and sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp sundried tomato purée
  • 300g bomba paella rice
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 100g chargrilled artichokes in olive oil, halved if big
  • 75g mixed olives
  • 75g Sunblush tomatoes
  • a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Heat the olive oil in a shallow casserole and cook the onions, peppers and courgettes with some salt for about 10 minutes or until softened and starting to caramelise.

Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then add the tomato purée and rice and stir until the grains are coated.

Add the stock, artichokes, olives and Sunblush tomatoes, then season and mix well. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook in the oven for 45 minutes or until the rice is cooked.

Scatter over the parsley and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

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This vegan dish is a must for mushroom lovers and the leftovers make great lunchboxes. Full of flavours that we wouldn’t usually put together, that’s the joy of recipes from the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen.

Wine Suggestion: We’re suckers for matching mushrooms with either Pinot Noir, or, like here, with Nebbiolo. Luigi Pira’s Langhe Nebbiolo was our choice as it is so authentically nebbiolo without breaking the bank and opening a Barolo, or Barbaresco. Cherries, rose petals and rich iron with an earthy, mushroomy aroma carrying it through; elegance and power all at once.

Mushroom & rice pilaf – serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side

  • 1-2 dried ancho chillies, stems removed – we used dried chipotle chillies as that’s what we had in the cupboard
  • 30g dried porcini mushroom
  • 500ml vegetable stock (or chicken stock if you prefer)
  • 500g oyster mushrooms
  • 500g large portobello mushrooms, stems discarded, and roughly broken by hand into 6 pieces
  • 1 large onion, halved and cut into ½ cm thick slices
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 150g soft dried apricots, quartered
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 350g basmati rice, washed until the water runs clear and drained well
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced at a angle
  • 5g picked parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 220C fan.

Put the dried chillies into a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 20 minutes, then drain and roughly chop the chillies, including the seeds.

Meanwhile, put the dried mushrooms, stock, 350ml of water, 1¼ tsp of salt and a good grind of pepper into a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then set aside.

Put the oyster mushrooms and portobello mushrooms, onion, garlic, chopped chillies, whole spices, apricots, 120ml of oil, 1 tsp of salt and a good grind of black pepper into a large roasting tin. Stir it all together, then bake for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Remove from the oven and transfer half the mixture to a medium bowl. Stir the rice into the remaining mixture in the tin.

Bring the porcini and stock mixture back to a simmer, then pour over the rice and without stirring, cover the tin tightly with foil. Bake for 25 minutes, then leave to sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and mix gently.

Add the scallions, parsley and final 2 tbsp of olive oil to the reserved mushroom mixture and stir together. Sppon over the rice and serve.

(Original recipe from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen Shelf Love by Noor Murad & Yotam Ottolenghi, Ebury Press, 2021.)

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This is good to serve with drinks for a crowd. You will need some flatbreads or pitta for dipping.

Wine Suggestion: An aperitivo type of drink; Negroni’s if you like, or for us Jérémie Huchet’s Muscadet Les Montys le Parc. A special “lieu-dit”, a vineyard recognised as something special and unique that allows a longer growing season than surrounding vineyards due to the aspect and soils. More depth and roundness than their classic Muscadet, but still with a lovely minerailty and mouthfeel and great length. Serious, and yet still with a sense of playful fun.

Spiced beetroot yoghurt – serves 6

  • 500g cooked beetroot (not in vinegar)
  • 3 tbsp ground coriander
  • 20g mint, leaves finely chopped
  • 500g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • olive oil, for drizzling

Drain any juice off the beetroot, then whizz with a hand-blender to get a coarse-textured purée. Add the ground coriander, lots of salt and pepper and the mint (keep a little to garnish) and mix together well. Stir in the Greek yoghurt.

Season again to taste, then serve sprinkled with nigella seeds, the rest of the chopped mint and a drizzle of good olive oil. Serve with pitta, flatbreads or toast.

(Original recipe from Sirocco by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2016.)

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This takes a long time so the trick is to poach the chicken the day beforehand and store the torn chicken and stock separately in the fridge. Everything else is fairly easy to put together on the day. A feast!

Celebration Rice – serves 8

  • 1 small chicken, about 1.4kg
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 onion, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 bulb of garlic, skin on and halved widthways
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 5g parsley leaves, roughly chopped

FOR THE RICE:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 300g lamb mince
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 400g basmati rice, washed, soaked in cold water for at least 1 hour and then drained

FOR THE GARLIC YOGHURT:

  • 500g Greek yoghurt
  • 2 clove of garlic, crushed

FOR THE GARNISH:

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 30g blanched almonds
  • 30g pine nuts
  • ¾ tsp Aleppo chilli flakes or ½ tsp regular chilli flakes
  • 4 tbsp pomegranate seeds

Put the chicken into a large saucepan with the cinnamon sticks, onion, garlic, 2 litres of water and 2 tsp of salt. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 70 minutes, or until cooked through. Lift the chicken out and tear into large bite-size chunks when cool enough to handle. Put the chicken into a bowl with the ground cumin and cinnamon and set aside. Strain the stock through a sieve and discard the solids. Measure out 850ml of the stock and keep warm (keep the rest for something else). If you are doing this part a day ahead you will need to reheat the stock and put the spices on the chicken when ready to cook.

For the rice, put the oil and half the butter into a large saucepan, and place on a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 7 minutes, stirring, until lightly golden. Add the lamb, garlic and spices and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring, until the lamb has lost its pinkness. Add the rice, 700ml of the warm stock, 1 ¾ tsp of salt and plenty of black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. Take off the heat and allow to sit, covered, for another 15 minutes. Add the remaining butter and set aside.

Meanwhile, make the yoghurt sauce by whisking the yoghurt, garlic, ¾ tsp of salt and the remaining 150ml of warm stock in a medium bowl.

Put 2 tbsp of oil in to a large sauté pan on a medim-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 5 minute, to warm through. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and parsley, then set aside.

Make the garnish by putting the butter into a small frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the almonds and cook for 3 minutes, stirring, until lightly coloured. Add the pine nuts and cook for another 2 minutes, until golden. Remove from the heat and add the chilli flakes.

Spread the rice over a large serving platter. Top with the chicken, then pour over half the garlic yoghurt. Finish with the nuts and butter, followed by the parsley leaves and pomegranate seeds. Serve the rest of the yoghurt alongside.

(Original recipe by Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Noor Murad & Yotam Ottolenghi, Ebury Press, 2021.)

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These are delicious and perfect with some crusty bread or flatbreads for scooping. Do buy the fancy butter beans in a glass jar if you can. You can make this up to a day ahead and the flavours will improve.

Wine Suggestion: We really like this dish with a nice, chilled Vermentino. Tonight’s choice, the Poggio ai Ginepri Bianco from Tenuta Argentiera in Bolgheri. Long and vibrant with a rich citrus and pear flavour and layers of texture and wild sage to finish.

  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 mild red chillies, finely chopped, including the seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, finely crushed with a pestle and mortar
  • 3 preserved lemons (80g), inner parts discarded and skin finely sliced
  • 1 ½ tbsp roughly chopped thyme leaves
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 170ml olive oil
  • 1 jar of butter beans (700g)
  • 2 large vine tomatoes, roughly grated and skins discarded

Put the garlic, chillies, coriander, preserved lemon, thyme, rosemary, tomato purée, olive oil and 1¼ tsp of flaked salt into a medium sauté pan on a medium-low heat and stir together. Heat gently for 25 minutes, or until very fragrant but not browned at all. Turn the heat to low if the oil gets to hot.

Stir in the butter beans, then turn the heat up to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for at least an hour, or longer if you can.

Meanwhile, mix the grated tomato with tsp of flaked sea salt and plenty of black pepper.

Spoon the butter beans into a shallow bowl and spoon over the grated tomato, mixing it in in places. Then serve with crusty bread or flatbreads.

(Original recipe from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Noor Murad & Yotam Ottolenghi, Ebury Press, 2021.)

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These are really good and the trick is to set them in the baking tray in rows with the skin-side down. You can use Cajun seasoning if you have it and if not make up the seasoning below – you’ll have more than you need for more wedges another time.

Crispy potato wedges – serves 4

FOR THE SEASONING:

  • 1½ tbsp salt
  • ½ tbsp dried oregano
  • ½ tbsp paprika
  • ½ tbsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 675g large potatoes (buy a variety that makes good chips)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 heaped tsp of the seasoning above

Preheat the oven to 200C fan.

Scrub the potatoes and cut in half, then cut each half into 6 wedges. Put the wedges into a pan of boiling salty water and cook for 2-3 minutes, then drain.

Put the olive oil into a large roasting tin with the seasoning. Add the wedges and toss to coat, then arrange in rows sitting upright on their skins. Bake for 35-40 minute, until soft and golden.

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This makes a delicious weeknight dinner. Serve with some greens on the side.

Wine Suggestion: really nice with a dry, artisan cider like the Cockagee keeved cider from Slane. This retains a natural sweetness when first brewed but when aged and because of the apples used it ends up being full bodied and dry with a great bittersweet twist. A cider for food like some of the Breton ciders we’ve tried in France in past years

Baked pork & parsnips – serves 4

  • 4 large parsnips (about 500g), peeeled and cut lengthways into 6
  • 2 red onions, each cut into 8 wedge through the root
  • 2 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ wholegrain mustard
  • 4 pork chops
  • 1 ½ clear honey
  • small handful of sage leaves

Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.

Put the veg into a large roasting tin, season and toss with 2 tbsp of the olive oil and 1 tbsp of the mustard. Roast for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a high heat. Season the pork chops and rub with the last ½ tbsp of oil. Fry for 30 seconds on each side or until just browned – turn onto the sides too to brown any fat.

Stir the veg, then put the chops on top and rub with the rest of the mustard. Roast for another 15 minutes, then drizzle with the honey and scatter over the sage. Return to the oven for 5 minutes, then serve with the pan juices.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food).

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This will improve your veg intake for the day and puts frozen prawns to good use. A perfect curry for mid-week. Serve with naan breads or rice and lime wedges.

Prawn, spinach & coconut curry – serves 2-3

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g raw prawns, defrosted if frozen
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-2 chillies, deseeded
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 2 tbsp curry paste, we like Patak’s Madras
  • 400ml tin of coconut milk
  • 80g Tenderstem broccoli, cooked until tender
  • 100g baby spinach
  • lime wedges, to serve

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and chillies and fry for another 2 minutes, then addd the sliced pepper and cook for 3 minutes until softened.

Push the veg to one side and fry the curry paste for a couple of minutes to heat through, then add the coconut milk and mix well to combine. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until thickened, then add the prawns, broccoli and spinach. Stir well and simmer until the prawns are just cooked and the spinach wilted.

Serve with rice or naan breads and lime wedges for squeezing over.

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A truly delicious dip to serve as a starter with warm flatbreads or pitta. It was very difficult to stop ourselves eating the lot …and thereby spoiling our appetite for the main to follow.

Yellow split pea purée with buttered onions and caper salsa – serves 6

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 180g yellow split peas, rinsed well and drained
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric

FOR THE SALSA:

  • 2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
  • 5g parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 thin lemon slices, discard the pips and finely chop (including the rind)
  • 2 tbsp oil

Put the butter, 2 tbsp of oil, the onions and ¾ tsp of salt into a large sauté pan over a medium heat for 15-18 minutes, stirring regularly, until soft and golden. Transfer half the onions, along with most of the oil and melted butter to a small bowl, and set aside.

Add the split peas, turmeric and 1.2 litres of water and ¾ tsp of salt to the pan with the remaining onions and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes, uncovered. Cover with the lid and cook for another 40-45 minutes, or until the split peas are very soft and most of the liquid is evaporated. If not, you can remove the lid again and cook a little longer.

Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the salsa in a small bowl.

Whizz the warm split peas with the remaining cooking water and 1 tbsp of olive oil in a food processor until completely smooth.

Spoon into a shallow dish, creating a dip in the middle. Mix the buttery onions with the caper salsa, then spoon on to the dip. Serve warm.

(Original recipe from OTK Shelf Love by Noor Murad & Yotam Ottolenghi, Ebury Press, 2021.)

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Delicious Indian comfort food. Serve with warm naan bread for mopping up the sauce.

Wine Suggestion: an oaked white of your choice we think. For us it was the Les Dissidents Préjugés by Domaine Ventenac in Carbadès in Southern France, a delightfully off-beat and thoughtful wine with a style that reflects great vineyards and an inventive winemaker.

Mattar Paneer – serves 4

  • sunflower oil
  • 400g paneer, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ – 1 tsp medium-hot chilli powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 300g tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 200g frozen peas, defrosted
  • 100ml double cream or natural yoghurt
  • a handful of coriander, finely chopped
  • lemon wedges

Coat the base of a large non-stick frying pan with the oil and place over a medium-high heat. Add the paneer and fry for a couple of minutes on each side until starting to turn golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

Add a bit more oil to the pan and cook the cumin seeds until they start to pop, then add the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Stir in the ground spices, then add the chopped tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, or until thick. Add the paneer, peas and 200ml water. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes, stirring now and then. Add the cream or yoghurt, then remove from the heat and rest, covered, for 10 minutes.

Serve sprinkled with the coriander and with a lemon wedge for squeezing over.

(Original recipe from New Kitchen Basics, by Claire Thompson, Hardie Grant: Quadrille, 2019.)

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If you have some truffle oil in the cupboard by all means use it to garnish this soup, but it is not essential. The soup tastes strongly of celeriac in a most pleasing way.

Cream of celeriac soup with truffle oil – serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1.2kg celeriac, peeled and diced
  • 1.2 litres water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 4 tbsp lemon thyme leaves, chopped
  • 100ml cream

TO GARNISH:

  • 2 tsp truffle oil or good extra virgin olive oil
  • finely chopped chives

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook gently for 10 minutes or until softened but not coloured.

Add the celeriac, water, bouillon powder and lemon thyme. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 20 minutes or until very soft.

Whizz the soup until smooth, then return to a gentle heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the cream. Garnish with oil and chives to serve.

(Original recipe from Lose Weight For Good by Tom Kerridge, ABSOLUTE PRESS, 2017.)

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You can obviously use any dry cider for this but we highly recommend the Cockagee Keeved Cider from the Cider Mill in Slane. If you can get sorrel you can use this instead of spinach. Serve with plenty of crusty bread and a glass of cold cider.

Mussels with Cider – serves 4

  • 1.75kg mussels, cleaned
  • 20g butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 4-5 scallions, chopped
  • a few thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 100ml dry cider
  • 120ml double cream
  • a good handful of sorrel, coarsely chopped or 200g baby spinach

Melt the butter in a large pan with a lid. Add the garlic, scallions, thyme and bay leaves, then cook until softened.

Add the mussels and cider, turn up the heat, cover and leave to steam for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan now and then.

Add the cream and the chopped sorrel or baby spinach and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in warm bowls with lots of crusty bread.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein at Home, BBC Books, 2021.)

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A healthy version of chicken tikka masala with salad and saffron rice. You will be eating the rainbow for dinner with this one.

Wine Suggestion: A new find matched this well: Umani Ronchi’s Centovie, a rosé made from Montepulciano in Abruzzo. The cherry fruit flavours and savoury, dry finish were a good compliment to the food. If you can’t find a rosé made from this grape find a nice red and chill it a little instead.

Chicken tikka masala – serves 4

  • 1 large skinless chicken crown (about 1kg), get your butcher to do this for you

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • juice of half a lemon
  • 5cm piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, grated
  • 2 tbsp medium Madras curry powder
  • 2 heaped tsp smoked paprika
  • a large pinch of salt
  • 100g Greek yoghurt (you can use 0% if you wish)

FOR THE CURRY SAUCE:

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated
  • 2.5cm piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml water
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 150g natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • half a cucumber, diced
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 tsp chaat masala

TO SERVE:

  • coriander leaves, roughly torn
  • basmati rice, cooked with salt and a pinch of saffron strands (only if you have them)

Put the chicken into a large dish and slash the breasts with a sharp knife. Mix all of the ingredients together for the marinade, then spread over the chicken. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 120C fan.

Put the chicken into a roasting dish and spoon over any remaining marinade. Cook for 2 hours (this won’t cook it through).

Meanwhile, make the curry sauce. Heat the oil in a deep frying or sauté pan. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown, add a splash of water if they stick. Add the garlic and ginger with a splash of water, stir well and cook for 1 minute. Add the spices with some salt and pepper and cook for another minute.

Stir in the tomato purée and cook for a minute, then add the tinned tomatoes and the 300ml of water. Bring to the boil, then reduced the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes. Add the chopped peppers and cook for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Remove the chicken from the oven and use a blowtorch over the surface to slightly blacken the marinade in places. If you don’t have a blowtorch just pop it under a hot grill. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

Mix the salad ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Remove the chicken breasts from the bone and cut into bite-size chunks. Reheat the curry sauce, then add the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the yoghurt and chopped coriander, then season to taste.

Serve with some coriander leaves, saffron rice and the salad on the side.

(Original recipe from Lose Weight for Good by Tom Kerridge, ABSOLUTE PRESS, 2017.)

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We absolutely loved this mushroom dish by Rachel Roddy in the Guardian; it’s simple but incredibly tasty. Serve with some steamed white rice.

Wine Suggestion: An earthy Pinot Noir, like Konrad Salwey’s Spätburgunder from Baden in Germany allows both the mushrooms and peppers to shine through, and it’s fresh acidity lifts the backbone of passata, vinegar and cream to the next level.

Mushroom & Pepper Goulash – serves 4

  • 15g dried porcini
  • 1kg field mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced
  • 1 large jar of roasted peppers, drained and cut into thick strips
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 20g butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 150g tomato passata
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp hot, smoked paprika
  • 1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 200ml single cream

Soak the porcini in 150ml warm water for 15 minutes, then drain and save the soaking liquid. Chop the soaked mushrooms and set aside.

Put a large heavy-based pan over a medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and butter, then stir in the onions with a pinch of salt and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring, until soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the soaked and fresh mushrooms, turn up the heat and cook, stirring, for a few minutes, or until the mushrooms start to shrink down.

Add wine, passata, thyme, porcini liquild and paprika. Bring to the boil, then cover, turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and add the peppers. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until the liquid has almost evaporated. Season to taste and add the red wine vinegar, then stir in the cream.

Serve with steamed white rice.

(Original recipe by Rachel Roddy in the Guardian, 17 January 2022.)

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We love romanesco and pick it up any time we see it. This simple cooking method shows this veg off at its best.

Romanesco – serves 4 as a side

  • a large head of Romanesco broccoli, snap off any big or bruised leaves, trim the end of the stem and cut a cross at the base
  • 6-8 tbsp best extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • a few shavings of Parmesan or Pecorino

Bring a pan of very salty water to the boil.

Put the whole head into the boiling water and simmer for about 12 minutes or until tender but not breaking up. Remove from the water and allow to steam dry for a few minutes, then put onto a plate and douse with the olive oil.

Season with pepper, scatter with parsley and cheese, and serve.

(Original recipe from Bocca Cookbook by Jacob Kennedy, Bloomsbury, 2011.)

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